Women have always worked.
My career path to "mystery author" has been a winding one. I've had jobs in a vineyard and on a cruise ship, in a law office and a television studio. In every instance, the choice to accept the job and the choice to leave the job were mine. Once upon a time, that might not have been the case. Once upon a time, I might have been an indentured servant.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, a huge percentage of immigrants to the American colonies were indentured servants, many of them women, and most of them under the age of 25. These young people didn't have a choice about what kind of work they wanted to do. Their contracts were sold to whomever needed labor, and they were legally bound to work until the term of indenture ended, typically about five years. If they lived that long. Frequently, they weren't treated very well.
I love writing the Bibliophile Mysteries for many reasons, and one of the biggest is the opportunity to research areas of history that fascinate me. The novels are modern-day mysteries, but each one is linked to the past by the appearance of a rare and precious book for heroine Brooklyn Wainwright to restore. Brooklyn is one of the premiere bookbinders in the world. She also has a penchant for discovering murder victims and, ultimately, bringing their killers to justice.
In A Cookbook Conspiracy, available now in paperback and ebook, Brooklyn is asked to restore the 240-year-old journal of Obedience Green, a young English woman who came to the American colonies as an indentured servant. Brooklyn feels a connection to the long dead young woman. Obedience didn't want to be a cook. She didn't even know how to cook. But it wasn't her choice. Her contract was sold to a general who needed a cook and so… she was stuck.
After Brooklyn finishes restoring the journal, her sister Savannah presents it to the bad boy celebrity chef she used to date. A few hours later, he's dead, and Savannah is found with his body.
Brooklyn knows that her sister didn't murder her ex-boyfriend, but if she can't prove it, her sister could go to prison for a very long time. Searching for clues, she turns again to Obedience's journal, and discovers that a woman who lived more than two hundred years ago could very well be connected to a twenty-first century murder.
Women have always worked. And sometimes, they worked in mysterious ways…
Looking back at your family and your ancestors, do you think you came from the "ladies who drink tea and eat crumpets" side of things, or do you think your forebears were workers?
Kate Carlisle has held many jobs during her life, but it was her year in law school that finally drove her to write fiction. It seemed the safest way to kill off her professors. Those professors are breathing easier now that Kate spends most of her time writing. She and her husband live near the beach in Southern California.
Learn more about Kate at her website.
Berkley Prime Crime has generously offered a copy of A Cookbook Conspiracy to one of my readers. Please comment here before midnight on May 13, answering Kate's question above. Entries from the US only, please.
Please don't forget to include an email address where I can contact you if you win.